This post may contain affiliate links to products. A commission may be received for purchases made through these links. However, all opinions remain my own. For more information, please visit my disclosure policy.
Blowing Rock in my home state of North Carolina is one of my favorite destinations, read on to discover some of the reasons why.
When I think of a favorite destination it never comes down to the size of the place. It doesn’t matter how luxurious it is or well-known. What matters is how it makes me feel, its personality, the activities, and of course, the eateries. There will never be enough visits to a favorite destination. There will always be a piece of it etched in my heart. Over the past eight years, Blowing Rock in my home state of North Carolina has become one such destination.
Blowing Rock is my and Derek’s favorite place to get away to. Whether we’re escaping the summer heat, the craziness of the city or seeking changing leaves and a bit of calm, Blowing Rock always delivers. Blowing Rock is a beautiful small town perfectly situated right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s part of what is known as the North Carolina High Country and is in close proximity to Boone. The location is a big draw for outdoor adventure seekers looking for fishing, hiking, white water rafting, and even skiing. Derek and I go for the hiking but the small town has some other virtues that keep us coming.
Blowing Rock has some incredible restaurants. It’s always difficult trying to decide where to eat because there are so many wonderful options. Shopping is another well-loved activity. Just before you turn into town there is a small Tanger Outlet for when you’re looking for some deals on name brands. However, I love strolling on Main Street and perusing the small shops. There you can find antiques, hand-made products, and even Christmas décor.
On our most recent trip to Blowing Rock this past month we finally made the time to check out the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. The museum focuses on the art, history, and heritage of Blowing Rock and its surrounding areas. Admission is free and it’s a great way to get to know the local area better.
We were able to enjoy a few special exhibitions during our time there. Southern Strands: North Carolina Fiber Art explores the history and culture of fiber arts in North Carolina. Modern Visions, Mountain Views: The Cones of Flat Top Manor examines Moses and Bertha Cone and their local estate, Flat Top Manor. Modern Visions, Modern Art: The Cone Sisters in North Carolina delves into the fascinating lives of Claribel and Eta Cone and the artists they greatly admired and even knew.
I think my favorite exhibit was on the second floor that focused on the local history of Blowing Rock. We were able to look at old pictures and memorabilia. It really gave me a better sense of the town and how it has developed over the years.
Back to the Cones and Flat Top Manor, this past spring Derek and I combined our love of hiking with a visit to the historic home. Bass Lake is a popular hiking, jogging, and even horseback riding trail in Blowing Rock. You can easily walk the circumference of the lake and enjoy the surroundings but Derek and I decided to take one of the hiking trails up to Flat Top Manor in April.
We were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary and wanted to do a trail we hadn’t done before that offered a nice view. Although we had done the circumference of Bass Lake before we never tried any of the other trails. It’s a nice moderate trail and you definitely have to put in some work to get to your destination.
We were rewarded with a beautiful view and a free tour of the historic Flat Top Manor. If you love to hike then I definitely recommend it but if you don’t you can easily access the manor via car. The hiking does put into perspective what it was like traveling the carriage roads over a hundred years ago.
As I mentioned before, Blowing Rock has some incredible restaurants. Here are a few of our favorite ones:
Six Pence Pub
This is a great spot for lunch right on Main Street. They serve up traditional pub fare like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. They also offer a nice variety of sandwiches and burgers. If you’re in the mood for a stronger drink than tea or soda they have a full bar with a nice selection of beer and even cider. Dessert is not to be missed especially their house-made bread pudding that is served with English custard!
Town Tavern Blowing Rock
If you’re looking for some good bar food then check out Town Tavern. Their food is not only delish but also reasonably priced! In the winter it’s quite cozy especially when seated next to the fireplace. In the summer we love to sit out on the patio and enjoy some live music. I definitely recommend their burgers although they have a pretty good Philly cheesesteak, too!
Storie Street Grille
This is a perfect spot for a special dinner. Derek and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary at this restaurant. They specialize in preparing locally-sourced food. That’s always a plus in my book when looking for a restaurant. They also offer a nice lunch menu for those in town only for the day.
If you’re in the mood for barbecue then this is the place to go! It was a few years before we tried Woodlands, we actually would forget about it because it’s not on Main Street but on Valley Boulevard. Once we tried it though we kept coming back! We actually took a different route home from Kentucky this past summer just so we could have lunch here. I was in the mood for their amazing barbecue.
They have plenty of barbecue plates and trays to choose from but Derek and I like to order their “Pig Out Special”. It’s a meal meant for two. Each person chooses three sides and then splits a combo of ribs, wings, beef brisket, and chopped pork. We have yet to finish this meal all at once. We always end up bringing home enough leftovers for dinner!
Here are a few shops that I love to visit whenever we’re in town.
High Country Candles
I love this candle shop. The owners make each and every one of these candles by hand. If your timing is right you might even get the chance to see a live candle-making demonstration. This family takes great pride in their craft and it is shown in their beautiful and wonderfully scented products!
De Provence Et D’ailleurs
There’s no need to leave the states when you can find a piece of France in the heart of the Carolina mountains. This sweet little shop sells all things French! Fine linens, tasty jams, books, and beauty products are just a few of the offerings you will find at De Provence Et D’ailleurs.
Spice and Tea Exchange
I don’t think I can make a trip to Blowing Rock without stopping in this shop! I have come to love their seasoning blends, spices, teas, and even flavored sugars over the years. It seems like I’m always stocking up whenever I’m in town. My favorite is their Tuscan spice blend but I’m really enjoying their new blackening seasoning right now, too.
For a small town, Blowing Rock has quite a few accommodations to choose from when planning a trip. Chetola Resort is quite popular with a few different options for a guest’s stay. You can stay at the lodge, the Bob Timberlake Inn, or one of the one to four-bedroom condos.
If you’re looking for a piece of history then maybe check out the Historic Green Park Inn. It is part of the Historic Hotels of America and has been welcoming guests since 1891. Some of those guests are important historical figures including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Personally, I’m quite fond of small inns and bed and breakfasts. There is a good selection to choose from, too. The Village Inn of Blowing Rock, Inn at Ragged Gardens, or the Hemlock Inn are a great place to start your search. There’s also a Holiday Inn Express in Blowing Rock if you prefer a standard hotel stay or nearby Boone has plenty to choose from too but I definitely recommend one of the local accommodations over that option.
Blowing Rock is such a special place. It’s perfect for holiday celebrations, weekend getaways, or just an afternoon of good food and great shopping. No matter what may draw you to this charming mountain town, I hope you come to love it as much as I have.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with all your friends and family. Just click on the social media icons below!